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HOW THE PROPANE INDUSTRY DOES CATHODIC PROTECTION INSPECTION, TESTING & DOCUMENTATION

Written on: May 2, 2022

By Jerry Schimmel

If you own, operate, and/or manage a propane company, you’ve heard about cathodic protection inspections and testing. But are you aware of your code requirements and how to meet them correctly and efficiently? Cathodic protection code requirements vary and depend on when the 2011 edition of the NFPA 58 code went into effect in your state. The good news is that there is an easy way to meet these requirements, train your employees, and ensure your company has proper documentation. P3 is how the propane industry does cathodic protection inspection and testing. And here’s how we can help:

Stay Compliant with NFPA 58 Cathodic Testing Requirements
Accurate & Organized Forms
The best place to start is to review your current cathodic protection inspection documentation. Do you have initial testing documentation and inspection forms? Going through paper forms is a pain, when you use P3 you’ll have access to all of your documentation electronically stored in our easy-to-use dashboard.

Once you begin using P3, technicians can complete cathodic protection inspection forms electronically on tablets through the P3 Mobile App. Error recognition technology and input error reduction help to improve the accuracy and completeness of these forms, while the Mobile Professor gives techs real-time explanations of any errors and relevant codes.

Follow-Up Testing
Once you have your records, confirm that your team has completed follow-up testing, as required on a timely basis, and start to plan for follow-up testing needed this year.

Cathodic Protection Follow-Up Process
Using software, like P3, to store, retrieve, and track cathodic protection documentation makes this process extremely efficient for your safety management team. P3 documents cathodic testing and creates management reports to automatically alert you when follow-up cathodic testing is due. When initial inspection or follow-up documentation is uploaded to your dashboard, P3 can detect missing information or errors and notify you immediately when corrective action is necessary.

Cathodic Testing Training
In order to stay compliant with NFPA 58, it is critical that every applicable employee completes these cathodic tests appropriately. P3 Propane Safety offers hands-on field training for propane employees to learn cathodic testing methods from experienced safety instructors. Testing requirements per NFPA 58 include:

Cathodic protection must be at least -.85 D.C. or more (meaning negative) using a copper-copper sulfate half cell.
Test must be completed upon installation unless prohibited by climatic conditions, in which case testing shall be done within 180 days after installation of the system.
For continued verification of the effectiveness of the system, 12 to 18 months after the initial test.
Periodic follow-up testing shall be performed at intervals not to exceed 36 months.
Systems failing a test shall be repaired as soon as practical unless climatic conditions prohibit this action, in which case the repair shall be made not more than 180 days thereafter. Testing schedule shall be restarted as required initially.

Documentation of the results of the two most recent tests shall be retained.
As cathodic testing inspections come in, your management team can use P3 to evaluate technician performance. With an automatic technician performance report, you can see how each service technician is doing out in the field, identify any areas for improvement, and provide real-time, customized coaching to resolve any issues.

Get in Touch with P3 Propane about Cathodic Protection Services
Contact P3 Propane Safety to learn more about how P3 can help you streamline your cathodic protection inspection and testing processes through the P3 Mobile Safety App.

Jerry Schimmel is vice president at P3 Propane Safety, providing compliance and risk management technology for the propane industry. He can be reached at jerry_schimmel@p3propanesafety.com or 401-481-2281.

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